New Zealand Family Adventure Holiday - suits kids 4 to 7

Planned by those with families, the New Zealand Family Adventure Holiday opens your child’s mind to a world of endless possibilities, while experiencing the best New Zealand has to offer. A seamless mixture of adventure and education that both you and you're kids will love. Activities are age appropriate and accommodations are family friendly.

Beach’s, Glow-worms, Geothermal Activity, Whale Watching, Maori Culture, Farm Stay, Ferry Crossing, Kids Kayaking & MORE...

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Welcome to New Zealand!

Haere Mai Welcome to the 'City of Sails' Auckland

Relax, you are officially on holiday! We have arranged for you to be met and transferred to your accommodation. The remainder of the day is yours to do as you please as tomorrow is the start of your New Zealand Family Adventure. Take a stroll around our beautiful city with your family, explore the highly acclaimed Waterfront Restaurant Quarter or choose one of the many activities available to give a more in depth understanding of Auckland and the surrounding area.

Some Activities and Sightseeing Options Available are:

Explore Waiheke Island Island Kayaking Adventure America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach

Accommodation Auckland - 1 night

Hahei, Coromandel Peninsula - Lifes a Beach!

The Coromandel Peninsula lies east of Auckland, on the other side of the Hauraki Gulf. An impressive, heavily forested mountain range runs right up the middle of this peninsula - it’s bordered on each side by kilometres of spectacular coastline.

The idyllic seaside village of Hahei, (HA-hey) is a small settlement situated on the eastern side of the Peninsula.  Yes there are a couple of restaurants, cafes and fish and chippy but essentially this is a secret hideaway were Kiwi families take their holidays – its all about the beach, where
the waves are generally safe for children and the wide beach is ideal for a game of volleyball or to throw a Frisbee. 

We recommend you take the scenic boat trip to the spectacular Cathedral Cove and sit on one of the world’s best beaches for the afternoon - only 10 minutes away by boat or an hours walk.  Alternatively you can arrange to snorkel the fantastic Hahei Marine Reserve or explore the stunning coastline by kayak.

Approximate Distance: 170 kms | 105 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 15 mins

​Accommodation Coromandel - 2 nights

Free Day - Try Hot Water Beach

We are going to continue the same theme today - Relax!

Head to the beautiful Hot Water Beach, you will find hot water bubbling through the golden sand. Families, kids and couples can be seen digging their own spa pool in the sand and relaxing in the natural hot springs - this is one experience that should be on your New Zealand bucket list and a truly unique Kiwi experience, perfect for a New Zealand Family Adventure Holiday.

Waitomo Glow-worm Cave and Farmstay

It’s hard to believe when you drive through the idyllic peaceful countryside of Waitomo that hidden beneath its surface lies a labyrinth of cave networks that house formations and creatures that are simply out of this world. The cave you explore today, Spellbound Glowworm Cave, Sir David Attenborough, one of our countries favourite naturalists commented while filming the BBC series ‘Life in the Undergrowth’ called it “an Astonishing Cave”

This small group and very personalized tour is perfect for kids of any age but those 4 upwards will certainly get the most out of the experience.  Allowing 40 minutes under the glow-worms, this is one of the most unhurried cave tours in New Zealand. During the gentle raft ride, eyes adjust and you will soon find yourself surrounded by thousands of softly shining glow-worms.

Following the visit to the glow-worm grotto, a gentle walk along a gorge path brings you to the Cave of the Spirit (Te Ana o te Atua). Quiet and contemplative, soft light reveals a time vault preserving evidence of past explorers, extinct animals, and abandoned stream passages. Both caves complement each other beautifully for a really memorable cave experience.

Approximate Distance: 222 kms | 138 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 

​Accommodation Waitomo - 1 night

Rotorua: Thermal Wonderland & Natural Hotpools

Rotorua is awesome for kids and being the Geothermal and Maori cultural center of New Zealand, Rotorua offers some really unique experiences. When you think about it, its obvious why early Maori settlers were attracted here, imagine living in a world without power and stumbling across an endless supply of boiling water making the usually laborious tasks of cooking, bathing and heating very easy - no effort required. The area quickly became a significant Maori stronghold and remains so today.

Wai-O-tapu Thermal Wonderland
Just south of Rotorua lies Wai-O-tapu, a wonderland of stunning geothermal activity and a really exciting place for both kids and adults to visit. Wai-O-Tapu means 'Sacred Water' and it is easy to see why as the hot pools range in colour from turquoise blue, rich green and gold to an almost olive/yellow, make the water at Waiotapu a dazzling kaleidoscope of natural colour caused by the many mineral salts in the water including arsenic, gold and silver. This is the home to the world famous Champagne Pool, seen by many as the most beautiful example of geothermal activity around. The steaming vents with New Zealand’s largest bubbling mud pool while being surrounded by huge volcanic craters make the experience very other worldly - but wait, there is more... the Highlight is the Lady Knox Geyser that spectacularly erupts daily at around 10.15am (ish) - The kids will love that.

Shhh here’s a little Secret: Take the family for soak in a free natural hot pool. Just past the 1st entrance of 'Waiotapu Thermal Park' is another about 500 meters (1640 ft) further down the road, take this second entrance and drive another 500 metres (1640 ft) down this tiny winding road and you'll come a across a small bridge. Make your way down the bank into the steamy stream.

Approximate Distance: 137 kms | 85 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 50 mins

​Accommodation Rotorua - 2 night

Rotorua: New Zealand Wildlife and Maori Culture

Maori Cultural Evening - Village, Hangi & Music

Spend an evening sharing and feasting on a selection of foods cooked the traditional Maori way - on hot stones in an authentic earthen oven (a Hangi). This Maori Cultural Evening will help your family understand the spiritual significance of the moko (facial tattoo) as warriors demonstrate with tools made of fine bird bone and sharpened greenstone and then perform a concert including the world famous ‘Haka’. An educational and enlightening experience, coupled with a ‘good feed’ and sing-a-long makes for a unique and entertaining experience!

Not for you? Well maybe it is - read our full review Tamaki Māori Village Experience.

Interisland Evening Cruise - Wellington to Picton

A hassle free Interisland Ferry Cruise across Cook Strait which connects New Zealand’s North and South Islands is one of the most scenic in the world. For one third of the crossing you cruise through the majestic Marlborough Sounds a haven of sheltered inlets, coves and crystal clear waters. For visitors and locals alike cruising into the Sounds is a breathtaking introduction to the South Island’s beauty that lies ahead.

Child Friendly Ferry: They offer a range of healthy snacks and baking designed especially for kids. 

Family Sleeping Cabin: For the ferry crossing we book you into a family cabin, this allows a three hour early check in so you can get the kids in-bed and asleep at a reasonable hour. 

Approximate Distance: 450 kms | 280 miles  Total Driving Time: 5 hours 35 mins

​Accommodation Cook Strait Ferry - 1 night

Kids Kayaking the Pelorus - The Most Beautiful River in the World

Kayak one of the most beautiful, crystal clear rivers that New Zealand (If not the World) has to offer. This river is so unique that it was used as the filming location for the barrel scene in "The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug". This is a down-river journey all the way, the double wide-based kayaks are very stable and kids can either paddling or they can simply can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

One of the striking features of the Pelorus River Kids Kayaking Adventure are gigantic boulders that are scattered along the river creating a series of deep slow moving pools, the remarkably clear waters make it easy to spot the various species of trout that make this river home and we do take some time ge get out of the kayaks for a snorkel and even a short bush walk to look at a stand of large native Rimu tree.  Passing many gorgeous waterfalls, listen to all the different bird sounds while make your way down the river.

Approximate Distance: 36 kms | 23 miles  Total Driving Time: 50 mins

​Accommodation Havelock - 1 night

Kaikoura Whale Watching

Heading south to Christchurch and nestled between soaring mountains and the Pacific Ocean is the small town of Kaikoura. Known as New Zealand’s ‘Serengeti of the Sea’. The natural wonders around Kaikoura are breath taking. Fur seals lounge on the rugged coastline and, just offshore, whales and dolphins thrive in an ocean that teems with life.

Take this opportunity to get your kids out onto the water to see dolphins and giant sperm whale in their natural environment. This Whale & Marine Mammal Tour is an experience they will never forget.

Approximate Distance: 173 kms | 107 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 10 mins

​Accommodation Kaikoura - 1 night

Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook

On the way to Mt Cook a picnic at Lake Tekapo  is recommended. This superb high country location offers some stunning photo opportunitys and is a great place to let the kids go for a swim. Golden tussock grass carpets the surrounding hillside and roll away into the distance where the Southern Alps frame the horizon. The charming 'Church of the Good Shepherd' sits alone on its shores and the views to our highest mountain, Mt Cook, are remarkable.

Approximate Distance: 533 kms | 344 miles  Total Driving Time: 6 hours 50 mins

​Accommodation Mt. Cook - 1 night

Queenstown - Gondola & Luge

Queenstown, situated at the southern end of the South Islands Southern Alps, sits at an altitude of 310 meters (1,020 feet) surrounded by classic high country scenery with alpine flora and fauna; rugged river gorges that run through epic ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscapes that are not only amazing to see, but can also be great fun! Queenstown has all the exciting activities needed to keep both kids and adults enthralled.

Gondola & Luge
The gondola whisks you smoothly up 450 meters (1,746 ft) as Queenstown drops away below. Breathtaking views from the top extend almost 360 degrees; from Coronet Peak around to the Remarkables, with Cecil and Walter Peaks on the other side of beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Treat your family to a Gondola Ride and Luge for some fast paced family fun! You have the choice of two 800 meters (2,624 ft) tracks winding down through trees; choose either the scenic track if you want a leisurely trip or take the advanced track if you want to be more adventurous and enjoy the challenge of banked corners, a tunnel, bends and dips. - Mum and Dad, the Luge (or fancy Go-cart) has been designed so you can take charge and control speed and direction while the young ones sit in front - loads of fun!

Approximate Distance: 255 kms | 159 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours

​Accommodation Queenstown - 3 nights

Dart River Wilderness Safari into Mt Aspiring National Park

For 1¼ hours your Dart River Jet Boat glides effortlessly into the upper reaches of the river and deep into Mt Aspiring National Park. After a full safety and paddling instruction, your Funyak journey begins. Paddle downstream on a crystal clear river amidst rocky peaks and dense rainforests.  After a wilderness buffet lunch, explore the Rock Burn Chasm and ancient beech forests.

NB: “Funyak” is an inflatable whitewater craft, appearing and functioning similar to a white water river kayak – a “fun” kayak. They are built for fun and stability for whitewater trips and are very stable. This trip is suitable for any child 1 meter (3.2 ft) tall and above - each child will be in a ‘Funyak’ with an adult. All safety gear is supplied.

TSS Earnslaw Cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm

Full Steam Ahead
All aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, this old coal-fired beauty has been ferrying passengers around the lake for over a 100 years. Kids find the experience fascinating and love watching the stokers at work in the engine room and seeing the glowing fireboxes.

On arrival at Walter Peak High Country Farm on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu, you will get a real taste for rural New Zealand. Kids can pet and feed the lambs (during Spring - Nov. to Jan.) and other farmyard animals, watch the sheepdog's round-up a flock of sheep and see a shearing demonstration. The high country air works up a healthy appetite, so the trip includes morning or afternoon tea with fresh scones and pikelets with Jam. Also availably are BBQ lunches, Evening Dining and Horse Treks (min. age 8) are other options worthy of note.

Combined with a visit to Walter Peak High Country Farm is a great day out for both parents and children.

Homeward Bound

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

Sadly, Your New Zealand Family Adventure Holiday is at an end, drop your vehicle at Queenstown airport and catch your onward flight. Have a good homeward journey, farewell and know your family leaves with many happy memories from your New Zealand self-drive adventure.

Ready to find out more? Talk to us here in New Zealand about the 'New Zealand Family Adventure Holiday'  - We Guarantee it will be the Holiday of a Lifetime!